OXFORD, Maine – Tommy Stilphen became the youngest Oxford Championship Series race winner ever, posting his first career Oxford Plains Speedway main event victory in the 40-lap Pro Late Model feature Friday night.
Tyson Jordan, Justin Larsen and Corey Morgan also scored main event victories in the first night race of the 2013 season at the historic Maine speedplant.
Stilphen, a 14-year-old rookie, just beat multi-time track champion Shawn Martin of Turner to the checkered flag after race-long leader Chris Coolidge suffered handling issues after building a huge lead, allowing Stilphen, Martin and the rest of the frontrunners to close in quickly as he attempted to negotiate lapped traffic.
“That’s the hardest I’ve ever driven in my life,” the youngster said in victory lane. “This is awesome. I’d like to thank my grandfather, Billy (Stilphen), and Corey and Trevor Sanborn for all of their help.”
Lapped traffic played a role in the outcome of the event, as Martin chased Stilphen through slower traffic during the last couple of laps. A three-wide move earlier in the event set Stiphen up to be in position to capitalize on the misfortune of Norway’s Coolidge, who looked like a sure winner until the event’s final five laps.
Martin’s bid for a second straight win came up just short, and he settled for runner-up honors. TJ Brackett of Buckfield, the current leader in the OPS Pro Late Model championship point standings, claimed a third-place finish. Opening Day winner Dale Shaw of Center Conway, New Hampshire and Jay’s Dave Farrington, Jr. rounded out the top five.
Tyson Jordan made a last-lap charge around Lewiston racer Rick Spaulding to claim victory in a thrilling 30-lap feature race for the Street Stock division, after Spaulding had made an impressive early drive from 14th starting position, going three-wide on the outside on more than one occasion en route to the front of the pack.
Jordan, boxed in traffic as Spaulding romped to the top spot, had to make his bid as time was running out, and had about two feet to spare as he raced under the checkered flag. Spaulding was disappointed with his close runner-up finish, while Skip Tripp ran just a bit short on time in his incredible run from 22nd starting position to nail down the third-place trophy. David Whittier of Poland and Waterford’s Spencer Morse rounded out the top five.